A schoolboy had to undergo a life-saving operation after he swallowed a whopping 54 magnets in an attempt to see if he could turn himself magnetic.
Twelve-year-old Rhiley Morrison knocked back the magnetic balls on two separate occasions as he was keen to find out if they would make metal stick to his belly – as well as finding out what they’d look like once they’d passed through him.
However, four days later a concerned Rhiley realised the balls still hadn’t come out the other end, so told his mum Paige Ward that he swallowed two ‘by accident’.
Paige, 30, took Rhiley to hospital where doctors gave him an x-ray and were shocked to find 54 of the small magnetic toys in his stomach and bowel.
Doctors feared the magnets could burn through the youngsters tissue or vital organs and could even potentially cause fatal damage, so Rhiley was rushed into surgery where the objects were removed in a six-hour-long operation.
Rhiley, who has ADHD and autism, is now recovering at home and his mum Paige wants to share their ordeal to warn other parents of the potential dangers of these toys.
Paige, from Prestwich, Greater Manchester, said: “I was gobsmacked, just speechless when I heard the number he’d swallowed.
“The doctors guessed around 25-30 from the x-ray, but when he came out of surgery they said they got 54.
“I think what made it harder is that I just didn’t understand how or why he would swallow that many.
“Rhiley is massively into science, he loves experiments, he eventually admitted ‘I tried to stick magnets to me, I wanted to see if this copper would stick to my belly while the magnets were in’.
“It’s just so silly, but he’s a child and that’s what kids do. He also thought it would be fun seeing them come out the other end.”
Rhiley had asked for the magnetic toys for Christmas and then bought the magnetic balls himself with money he had saved up.
It’s believed he swallowed one batch on 1 January and a second lot on 4 January.
When none of the magnets passed through his system, worried Rhiley woke full-time mum and carer Paige up at 2am on January 5 who took him to Salford Royal Hospital.
After discovering how many magnets were inside the schoolboy, doctors sent him to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital via ambulance.
Once there he was given an emergency keyhole procedure to remove them.
But complications caused by the magnets meant Rhiley Rhiley spent 10 days unable to move without vomiting green liquid caused by his bowel leaking – he also wasn’t able to eat or go to the toilet.
Paige now wants to share her story so no other parents go through the same thing.
She said: “I don’t want other kids or parents going through that.
“When he did it I thought it was just him, he’s just been silly and done it, but the surgeon said they see this all the time.
“Magnets aren’t toys, they shouldn’t be sold as toys.
“My message to other parents is to just put them in the bin, don’t buy them in the first place.
“The surgeon said that if Rhiley didn’t tell me that day he’d swallowed the magnets he could have died.
“They could have clashed and ripped his bowel and he could have ended up with sepsis.
“Rhiley was lucky but some kids aren’t and won’t be.
“He’s taken all of his magnets out of his room now, he won’t entertain them. It was a really traumatic lesson for both of us.”